Tournament Rules

Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail Rules

1. Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail: Tournament rules are included herein with special notations. It is each participant’s responsibility to read and understand all items before entering. Fish Tales rules will apply in all events unless superseded by federal, state or local laws. Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail reserves the right to refuse any membership or tournament entry fees or entry forms for any reason. Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail reserves the right to make needed changes to these rules in order to ensure the safety, welfare of the Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail anglers, and/or the public and preserve the integrity of the Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail. Any rule changes will immediately supersede all previously published copies of rules. Fish Tales officials and directors decisions will be final in all matters.

2. MEMBERSHIP: The mandatory nonrefundable membership fee is $25 per person per year (Children under 10 years of age are free). $10.00 per person will go to the CLASSIC fund the other $15.00 will get each member one Fish Tales Performance shirt and one Fitzgerald Rods buff. Only paid members may participate in Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail. Anyone fishing with a non-current membership will be disqualified. No points or credit for a tournament will be awarded for non-current members.

3. INSURANCE: All boats used in Fish Tales must have a mandatory minimum of $100,000.00 liability insurance. This is the user/owners responsibility.

4. ELIGIBILITY: Participation is open only to current members of the Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail. If a team only chooses to fish one event that team can become a member the morning of the event at registration. Any person age 17 or under must be a team partner with a parent or a person age 18 or older. Persons under 18 must have the signature of his/her parent or legal guardian on the tournament entry form. A Fish Tales member may fish alone but is required to pay full tournament entry fees and must fish at least one tournament in the season with a partner. All members that qualify for the classic must fish with a partner at the CLASSIC. For an alternate to fish the CLASSIC, they must have fished at least one tournament with any team during the regular schedule. 

5. PARTNER SUBSTITUTION: A team may have as many partners as needed, but all partners must pay membership fees. All points credit shall stay with the team captain for the entire season.

6. SEASON BIG BASS POT: This cash side pot is for the largest bass caught in all of the Fish Tales Team Tournament Series for the full season including the CLASSIC. The one time entry fee is $10.00 per team per side pot 100% payback. This fee must be paid at the October or November events to be big bass side pot eligible. The fee will include all partner substitutions for each team that enters. All teams that enter this cash side pot must qualify for and fish the classic to be eligible to win this prize.

7. TOURNAMENT ENTRY FEES: $60.00 per boat with $10.00 going to the Big Bass pot for that event, $5.00 to the CLASSIC FUND, and 100% of the remaining entry fee will be the cash payback for that event. Each event will pay one spot per 7 boats. Teams that pay for a tournament and do not fish the tournament will not receive points for that tournament, but will receive credit for that tournament towards the classic. CLASSIC entry fee will be $120.00 per boat; $20.00 will go to the big bass pot for the CLASSIC and the remaining 100% will go towards the CLASSIC pay out.

8. PRE-REGISTRATION & SIGN UP: Teams will take off in the order in which entry fees are received. Teams may sign up and pay at any Fish Tales event, or by mailing entry with check or money order to: Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail, 12160 S Hwy 441, Belleview, FL 34420 check or money order must be received TEN DAYS PRIOR TO TOURNAMENT DATE. Members may pay cash at the ramp the morning of the tournament. Only cash will be accepted at the ramp NO CHECKS.

9. SCORING SYSTEM & CLASSIC Info: Each team’s weight will be measured in pounds and hundredths of ounces. The highest weight will be 1st Place and receive 100 Points for the event. Each descending weight will receive (1) point less than the previous weight. All teams that do not weigh fish will receive (5) points less than the last team that weighs fish. If a team is disqualified for any reason they will receive (0) points for that tournament, BUT WILL RECEIVE CREDIT FOR FISHING THE TOURNAMENT TOWARDS THE CLASSIC. Teams must pay for 7 qualifying events out of 8 qualifying events to qualify for the 2017 CLASSIC. Each team is only allowed one buy out event per season. So each Team Must Fish (attend) 6 events during the season and can buy one event making a total of 7 paid events. We will drop the points for each teams worst performance from 1 (one) event per season. If a team fishes all 8 qualifying events their worst finish will be the event that gets dropped. Points will be tallied at the end of the qualifying events to determent team of the year. Team of the year will win a fantastic prize pack! In the case of a tie during the qualifying events the money will be added together and split evenly between the two teams. In the case of a tie at the Championship the winning team will be decided by which team had the most weight at the conclusion of day ones weigh in.

10. FISH LIMITS & PENALTY: All contestants must use care in handling and keeping fish alive for release after weigh-in. All fish will be brought to the weigh master in a quality weigh-in bag preferably a Fitzgerald Fishing bag or a MEGA BAG with enough water to keep the fish covered until weigh-in. A tournament limit will be (5) fish. We will be pulling size permits for all events if permits are not granted then we will follow state laws and regulations. There will be no minimum length. No culling of dead fish. No culling at ramp or in host marina. No retaining bass in live well and not weighing those fish, this is the same as culling at the ramp. Dead fish penalty will be .50 pounds per dead fish. Teams must not have more than (5) fish in the live well at any time. ALL TEAMS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE THEIR OWN WEIGH BAGS FOR TRANSPORTING FISH TO WEIGH-IN.

11. LIFE JACKETS & KILL SWITCH: Life Jackets or Vest will be worn by both team members any time the outboard motor is in gear and running above IDLE. Kill switch will be connected to the boat operator any time the outboard motor is running and in gear.

12. TACKLE & EQUIPMENT: You may not fish on or from any structure above the deck. All fishing must be done from boat deck. Only artificial lures may be used, except for pork products. No wading or trolling is allowed. All fish must be caught from the boat. All traditional rods & reels are allowed including fly rods and flipping poles. Only one rod and reel may be used at any given time by each angler. No rod may be left unattended with line or lure in water.

13. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Anglers may not leave their boat except in a dire emergency. You must fish water that is available to all competitors. No fishing within 50 yards of any boat anchored, with trolling motor up. No fishing in areas designated off limits by governmental agencies. No fishing within 50 yards of Launch Site. No fishing within 50 yards of a marina gas pump. There is NO off limit days at any Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail.

14. TEAM CHECK-IN: Any team checking in after his announced check-in time will be disqualified

15. TOURNAMENT HOURS: Safe light until 3:00pm, this may be adjusted by tournament director. Each team will be assigned a boat number at sign-up the morning of each tournament. At check-in, all teams must return their boat number identifier prior to their designated return time.

16. EMERGENCY OR BREAK DOWN: One or both anglers must identify their fish with some sort of marker or separation system before entering the rescue boat with fish, to return to launch site. (No fishing from rescue boat, both teams may be subjected to a polygraph test).

17. BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. All boats must contain a properly aerated live well space to maintain a live limit catch of bass. All boats must have an operating kill switch that must be attached to the operator at all times when the outboard motor is running and in gear. Violation of any of the above rules may be cause for disqualification. If running lights are not working you may be held at take-off. Fish Tales officials or directors reserve the right to refuse entry to any boats that don’t meet tournament standards. No airboats, canoes, or pontoon boats are permitted.

18. SPORTSMANSHIP: Each team is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, safety, courtesy, and conservation. Any team found in violation of these rules or any federal, state, or local laws may be disqualified. The use, possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverages during tournament hours, will not be tolerated and shall be cause for disqualification from current and future Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail events.

19. PROTEST & POLYGRAPH TEST: Fish Tales members may submit a protest during the tournament morning prior to launch or immediately following the weigh-in of the last team’s catch, but before the start of the awards presentation. Protests shall be in writing and accompanied by a $50.00 deposit. The burden of proof of a rules infraction will be the responsibility of the angler filling the protest. This deposit will be refunded providing the protest be upheld, otherwise, the deposit shall be forfeited to Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail CLASSIC fund. Any member may be required to submit to a Polygraph or truth verification test. Failure to submit to either of these tests will result in disqualification from this tournament and will not be eligible to fish in any future Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail events. Any angler making an accusation against another contestant without submitting a written protest accompanied by a $50.00 deposit may be subject to disqualification from current and future Fish Tales Team Tournament Trail events.

20. CELLULAR PHONES AND RADIOS: Cellular phones and radios are encouraged for safety reasons but are prohibited during tournament hours unless of an emergency or communications with the tournament director.


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